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Tuesday’s Three Stars: Shutouts for Gustavsson, Blues’ Halak; Hat tricks for Stalberg, Ducks’ Koivu

Harrison Mooney
Puck Daddy

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Stalberg gets loved on for hat trick - Getty Images

No. 1 Star: Saku Koivu, Anaheim Ducks

Koivu scored a minute in and with a minute left (with a game-winner somewhere in there as well, whatever) to record his second career hat trick in the Ducks' 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars. The first was nearly a decade ago. It came in November of 2002.

No. 2 Star: Viktor Stalberg, Chicago Blackhawks

At the midway point of this game, Todd Richards' first as the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the score was 1-1. But then both teams remembered who they were, and the Blackhawks took over. Viktor Stalberg scored thrice, including the empty-netter, as the Hawks cruised to a 5-2 win. It was the first hat trick of his NHL career.

No. 3 Star: Jonas Gustavsson, Toronto Maple Leafs

Gustavsson picked up the third shutout of his career, his second in the last 5 days, stopping all 32 shots he faced to blank the Buffalo Sabres in a 2-0 Leafs win. He's been lights out in 2012, with wins in all four games he's started. Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski scored the goals, and David Steckel went an absurd 14-for-16 in the faceoff circle. This was the Monster's best save, by the way:

Honorable mention: Jaroslav Halak was perfect in his homecoming, registering a shutout in the St. Louis Blues' 2-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Of course, with only 19 shots on goal, the Habs clearly still have some warm feelings towards the guy, but Halak earned this shutout, making a big save off a Tomas Plekanec breakaway in the first and desperation glove save on Mathieu "Stan" Darche in the third... Sean Couturier scored the game-winning goal early in the third period as the Philadelphia Flyers got past the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves in the win, and Claude Giroux took 33 of the team's 69 faceoffs. No wonder you'd want him taking so many after he nearly scored off the first one of the game:

Derek Stepan scored the shootout winner in the New York Rangers' 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes... Mikko Koivu's shootout winner helped the Minnesota Wild knock off the San Jose Sharks, 5-4. Matt Cullen scored in the game, the 1000th of his career. Cal Clutterbuck had a goal and an assist in the win, and Dan Boyle had 1 and 2 in the loss... Mason Raymond scored the shootout winner in the Vancouver Canucks' 5-4 win over Tampa Bay Lightning. Martin St. Louis picked up assists on two late, third-period goals to send the game into extra time, and Ryan Malone's game-tying goal with the net empty was shrewdly directed in with the skate:

... Nathan Horton scored twice and the Bruins posted three unanswered goals in the third period to knock off the Winnipeg Jets, 5-3... The Pittsburgh Penguins' woes continued as they fell to the Ottawa Senators, 5-1. Milan Michalek scored twice, Colin Greening added 3 assists, and Jason Spezza notched this slick tally:

... John Tavares had a goal and 2 assists and Matt Moulson had 2 goals and 1 assist in the New York Islanders' 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings... Ryan Ellis scored the game-winner and added an assist in the Nashville Predators topped the Colorado Avalanche, 4-1. Martin Erat also had 1 and 1... Jarome Iginla contributed 2 assists and the 501st goal of his career, and Curtis Glencross had a goal and 3 assists as the Calgary Flames routed the New Jersey Devils, 6-3...

Did you know? Patrick Marleau's assist on Dan Boyle's first-period goal was his 800th career point, and it came 8 years to the day he recorded his 300th. [@SharksStats]

Dishonorable mention: While the Wild and the Canucks won their respective games in shootouts, both led 4-2 in the third period before allowing their opponents to tie things up late... Speaking of third-period collapses, the Jets entered the third period versus the Bruins up 3-2. The lead lasted eight seconds... The Flames scored 6 goals on only 14 shots versus the Devils. I think it goes without saying that New Jersey goaltending is usually a little better.

Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney

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